John Jacobs' 'Eventful' Week Highlighted by Invite to Team USA Football

Andre Johnson@AJ_JournalistContributor IIIJune 7, 2014

East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill speaks to reporters during football media day in Greenville, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

John Jacobs III on Saturday was asked the sum up this week in one word.

“Eventful,” Jacobs III told Bleacher Report during a telephone interview from Greenville, North Carolina. “I had a lot of things going on.”

To get a clear understanding why the past few days had been “eventful” for Jacobs III, the quarterback for Shawnee High, look no further than what transpired late Monday night in Oklahoma City, hours before the Wolves were to participate in a three-day team camp.

Jacobs III, the “top dual-threat” high school quarterback in America, according to renowned DeBartolo Sports University quarterback instructor Joe Dickinson, acquired food poisoning and did not participate in the second day of team activities.

“I had McDonald’s for the first time in a year,” Jacobs III said. “I guess I ordered the wrong thing. It’ll probably be another five to 10 years before I eat that again.”

After spending most of the night consuming fluids, Jacobs III returned to action for Wednesday’s scrimmages against several of the top Class 6A schools in Oklahoma.

Although he said he was “about 50 percent” for the brief exhibitions, he appeared to be his usual reliable self once he took the field.

An East Carolina commitment whose skills have drawn comparisons to former Texas A&M and current Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, Jacobs III ran for more than 200 yards during Wednesday’s scrimmages.

His stellar display less than 48 hours after his illness left a favorable impression among several coaches, most notably Shawnee’s Billy Brown. Brown said Jacobs III is “about 90 percent better than last year.

Jacobs, meanwhile, said that while he was pleased with his performance, there are a number of things he must “tweak” as he prepares for his final prep season.

“I probably felt like 50 percent,” Jacobs III, a Dallas native, said. “I got his in the stomach, but I still played good. I need to develop more and focus more on reading defenses.”

Hours after the camp ended, Jacobs III and his father, John Jacobs Sr., boarded a plane for Greenville, North Carolina, where his son made an unofficial visit to East Carolina.

According to Jacobs III, the visit lasted for about eight hours and included a tour of the campus, various athletic facilities and meetings with the ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff.

Jacobs III and his father were mostly amazed by McNeill, who will be entering his fifth season at ECU this year. A longtime evangelist, Jacobs Sr. is widely known as the founder of The Power Team and The Next Generation Power Force. Also, he played a guest role in an episode of the television series, Walker, Texas Ranger, whose star, renowned actor Chuck Norris, is his close friend.

“I would say he’s one of the best, most humble men in my life,” Jacobs Sr. said of McNeill. “This guy is selfless…a selfless leader. He loves John. They just kept saying how much they believe in John. He said football isn't No. 1. Academics isn't No. 1. Creating an environment is No. 1. He said, ‘If you create a great environment, everything else will fall into place.'”

Jacobs III is expected to make an official visit to ECU in the coming months.

Hours after arriving to Greenville, Jacobs III was the beneficiary of more good news when it was announced that he would join Team USA against The World next month at Texas A&M. The game, which is sanctioned by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), will feature the top 40 high school football players in the country as well as the top two at each position.

“It felt good,” Jacobs III of his be chosen to play for Team USA. “I felt pretty honored because I know it’s a big deal.”

Jacobs III, who led the state in yards passing (3,550) and yards rushing (1,250) last year and a combined 69 touchdowns his sophomore and junior seasons, is scheduled to graduate from Shawnee in December and enroll at ECU for the spring semester.

He is expected to join the Pirates for spring practices, according to Jacobs Sr., who, unlike his son, described the sequence of events that transpired this week as a moment of “destiny.”

“If you make me use one word, destiny would be it,” Jacobs Sr. said. “Because it seemed like it was God-ordained. He’ll fit perfectly (ECU). He couldn’t play for a better school that will help him get to the NFL.”

That, too, he said, would be an “eventful” moment by way of “destiny.”

Andre Johnson a regular contributor for Bleacher Report. To reach Johnson, email him at Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.